By Neto Baptiste
Former West Indies fast bowler and President of the Liberta Sports Club, Kenneth Benjamin, believes those in authority have ignored the importance of adequate insurance for players and management staff both in and out of competitions.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Benjamin said clubs and associations must tackle the contentious issue as a unit if players are to receive acceptable coverage when injured.
“Clubs need to start to plan and now is a good time because nothing is happening, so we could look and see how we want to function differently post COVID and so forth. One of the things we have to look at is insuring our players even though it’s not a huge thing,” he said.
“For some reason, I just get the feeling it is a competition even off the field, and rather than saying let all of us come together and go to one body [insurance] and ask how much it is going to cost to insure all of the players over a period of time and then work towards that. If we are not going to start to do these things, then we are not going anywhere; but guess what, these things will not happen until the clubs get organised,” he added.
Benjamin referenced the recent case involving West Indies women’s player Shaquana Quintyne who alleges she has been left to fend for herself after being injured on West Indies duty.
Reports are that the Barbados national was injured following an incident at the Coolidge Cricket Ground here in 2017 as she trained with teammates in preparation for the 2017 ICC 50-over World Cup in England.
Quintyne has filed a lawsuit against Cricket West Indies (CWI) claiming that the body failed to live up to its responsibility.
Benjamin said more effort should be made to secure the future of professional players in case of career ending injuries.
“Where is the players association? These things, when they were demanding more pay and so forth, people forget that you can go on a tour and make a million dollars and then you pick up an injury that ends your career, but how long is the million dollars going to last?” he said.
“If you have an insurance that takes care of that injury, then you could get enough money where you could probably start your own business. So, again, I think the people who deal with these situations need to sit down and look and see how it would benefit the players full time and not just increasing your pay,” the former cricketer added.
There has been similar cases to that of Quintyne’s here in Antigua with players, after picking up serious injuries, were forced to leave the game empty-handed as the insurance provided by the respective leagues barely covered the cost incurred through doctor visits and the purchasing of medication.